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Delphi Method


The Delphi Method is a forecasting technique used in decision making processes, often through expert consensus. It involves a group of experts who independently provide predictions and assumptions, followed by a facilitator providing anonymized feedback and encouraging the experts to revise their earlier answers. The process repeats until a consensus is reached.


The phonetics of the keyword “Delphi Method” is: Delphi: /ˈdelfaɪ/Method: /ˈmeθəd/

Key Takeaways


  1. The Delphi Method is a structured communication process, originally developed as a systematic forecasting method that relies on a panel of experts. It is commonly used in various business and even scholarly fields since it facilitates consensus among a group of experts.
  2. Its process generally includes multiple rounds of questionnaires, allowing anonymous feedback from each respondent, and controlling feedback to avoid any influence from dominant individuals. It enables individual opinions to be refined towards a collective outcome.
  3. Despite its advantages, the Delphi Method also carries limitations such as potential bias in the selection of experts, the lengthy timeframes for execution, and the issue with the misinterpretation of the results if not managed properly.



The Delphi Method is important in business/finance because it provides a systematic, interactive forecasting approach which relies on a panel of independent experts. The experts answer questionnaires in two or more rounds, wherein the responses are collected, analyzed, and then re-circulated among the experts for further comment. This method helps in achieving a convergence of opinion on a specific topic. The Delphi Method is useful in risk management, budget forecasting, and strategic planning, among others, allowing businesses to make informed decisions based on expert forecasts and predictions. Thus, enhancing the decision-making processes for optimal business performance and financial management.


The Delphi Method serves as a structured communication technique used predominantly in the field of finance and business for decision-making processes. The main purpose of using this method is to achieve a convergence of opinion on a specific issue with the help of a panel of experts. These experts share their knowledge within their field anonymously, allowing unbiased opinions free from the influence of others. This method is becoming increasingly popular for its use in scenarios that lack certainty or where there is incomplete state of knowledge. In business, the Delphi Method is commonly used for making forecasts, solving complex problems, and also to ascertain future trends in the market. Companies often use this method to gain expert opinion on certain critical business matters such as investment options, budget forecasting, project deadlines, and more. With the acquired experts’ consensus, these businesses can reduce risk and uncertainties and make informed decisions. The anonymity and iterative feedback in this approach enable the production of honest opinions and in-depth deliberations over the matters at hand.


1. Deloitte, a multinational professional services network, often utilizes the Delphi Method for risk management purposes. The company uses this method to incorporate the opinions of experts from various fields to determine the potential impact and likelihood of various risks, and to establish appropriate management strategies.2. Toyota, a leading global automobile manufacturer, has also used the Delphi Method in its forecasting and decision-making processes. For instance, they utilized the method to predict the future market demand for hybrid and electric cars, by gathering expert opinions to determine market trends, technological advancements, and potential changes in consumer behaviour.3. The European Commission has occasionally used the Delphi Method for policy-making. For example, they implemented the method to gather input from experts on future climate change impacts and adaptation measures. These predictions helped in shaping the European Union’s climate change strategy and policies.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Delphi Method?

The Delphi Method is a structured communication technique, initially developed as a systematic, interactive forecasting method which relies on a panel of experts. It is used in business for decision-making processes and in finance to estimate the likelihood and outcome of future events.

Where is the Delphi Method used?

The Delphi Method is commonly used in business forecasting, finance, scenario planning, and market research. It’s also utilized in technology forecasting, health, education, and transport planning.

Who are the ‘experts’ in the Delphi Method?

The ‘experts’ in the Delphi Method are typically educated individuals with related knowledge and practical experience in the specific field. These can be people from academia, industry professionals, or individuals with relevant expertise in the topic at hand.

What is the main purpose of using the Delphi Method?

The main purpose of using the Delphi Method is to obtain the most reliable consensus from a panel of selected experts. Through a series of questionnaires, the method gathers opinions anonymously, prevents dominant individuals from influencing others, and allows expression of honest opinions without fear of criticism.

How does the process of Delphi Method work?

The Delphi Method process starts with a series of questionnaires sent to a panel of experts. These experts respond anonymously. Their responses are collected and then summarized, displaying the collective viewpoint of the group. The summary is sent back to the experts for review, and the process repeats typically until a consensus is reached.

What is meant by ‘consensus’ in the Delphi Method?

Consensus in the Delphi Method doesn’t necessarily mean unanimous agreement, but rather a generally accepted conclusion by the majority of the panel. The goal is to reduce the range of responses and arrive at something closer to expert agreement.

What are the advantages of the Delphi Method?

The Delphi Method helps avoid the bandwagon effect of majority opinion, prevents individual experts from dominating the discussion, and ensures anonymous responses. It further allows experts to reconsider their views, provides a platform for consensual prediction, and facilitates reliable decision-making.

Are there any limitations to the Delphi Method?

Yes, the Delphi Method can be time-consuming and may require multiple rounds, and sometimes, the experts may not reach a consensus. Also, the method is dependent on the competence of the selected experts and suffers from issues related to vague language or misinterpretation of statements.

Related Finance Terms

  • Forecasting
  • Expert Consensus
  • Qualitative Method
  • Iterative Process
  • Decision Making

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